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  • Aerial Cheryl

So you want a 20 minute solo aerial show?

This has been a common request in 2018. As we head into the busiest time of year, I thought I'd address the topic of time constraints.

Aerial silks, wedding performer

One of the most challenging parts of my job as the head of an aerial entertainment company is explaining to clients that a typical solo aerial act lasts about 4-7 minutes. “That’s it?!” is a typical thought/response. And I get it. As someone looking to book entertainment for an event, you’re envisioning a gorgeous stage with lights and music and aerialists flying around for your guest’s delight all thought dinner service leading to dessert conversations that go something like, "Wow, this company must really love us to have booked such fantastic entertainment” or “Those girls climbing the curtains were so inspiring - our new mission statement makes so much sense now.”

And we want to give you that experience. We want your guests and clients to have all the warm fuzzies about you and the event. We want them to leave feeling inspired, wow’d and well taken care of. And just like you, we need a team of people to do it.

Not only do we utilize riggers, spotters and technicians to keep everyone safe and looking great, we spend a lot of time in the studio training and rehearsing just like other athletes. We are coaches and we have coaches to support each other.

For the sake of perspective building, lets look at a couple of examples. An average, big box gym circuit workout takes 20-30 minutes to complete and is designed to work one muscle group at a time for 1 minute with 1-2 minutes of rest before moving on to the next muscle group. That’s 1 minute of work followed by 1 minute of rest using one muscle group at a time. On the other end of the spectrum, the fastest mile ever run in the Olympics is 3 minutes 43 seconds.

As aerial performers, we are doing the equivalent of a full body circuit workout and running a mile at an "average" Olympic pace, at the same time.

Just for fun, why don’t you pick just 2 exercises. Any exercises you want: jumping jacks and sit ups or pushups and squats. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just alternate between those two exercises without stopping until the time goes off. You don't even have to do them super fast, just keep alternating between the two. Oh! And keep a smile on your face the whole time :)

How did it go? As performing athletes, we do these workouts and we make them into works of art. We make them look easy, that doesn’t mean they are. And yes, we do train for this AND there are limits to what the human body can safely and consistently accomplish.

If you’d like to learn more about the challenges and joys of the aerial arts, I encourage you to check out local classes and try it out for yourself. It’s an amazing feeling to leave the ground and accomplish your first foot lock or to hang upside down like a child. It will also leave you with a much better understand and appreciation for what circus artists do. I also hope it leaves you feeling better and stronger about yourself.

If you are looking to hire aerial performers, I hope you have a better understanding of our time constraints. We put them in place to keep us safe and to preserve the quality of entertainment you receive. e certainly can put together 20 minutes (or an entire evening’s worth) of aerial performances for you. It just won’t all be done by a single performer.

Have more questions? Want to tell me about your 5 minute challenge or your first aerial class? Just email me at or use the contact us link at the top of the page.

Thank you so much for reading and learning more about the aerial arts!


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